No. 24 Fresno State Edges Kansas in Extra Innings, 3-2
FRESNO, Calif. – Sophomore outfielder Erin McGinley scored the equalizing run in the sixth inning to force extra inning at No. 24 Fresno State. McGinley scored the go ahead run in the top of the eighth, before the Bulldogs rallied for two runs in the bottom half of the inning to win, 3-2, on Saturday night at Margie Wright Diamond.Sophomore Erin McGinley
McGinley’s pair of RBIs sent Kansas into its first extra-inning game of the season. Despite falling to Fresno State, the Jayhawks (4-5) outhit the Bulldogs, 8-6. Kansas had plenty of chances to hand Fresno State its first loss of the season, but the Bulldogs (8-0) preserved their perfect record with the eight-inning victory.
“What a great game. We are certainly disappointed because we had many chances to win that game, but this is why you play,” said head coach Megan Smith. “It was a fun game. Two great teams battling it out and two great pitchers. Andie was great in the circle and bounced back really well from last night. We are improving and we improved from yesterday. That is something that we asked our girls to do – is keep improving out here and they’ve definitely done that.”
Senior outfielder Shannon McGinley recorded the first hit of the game for both teams, a single to right field, but was stranded on first as the top of the second frame came to a close with the game still tied, 0-0. KU stranded 11 runners on base for the second time against Fresno State.
“I am really pleased with the offense,” Smith said. “Shannon and Erin McGinley are doing some really great things for us. I was pleased that we created opportunities again, but we needed that clutch hit and couldn’t quite get it. But, we are facing an unbelievable pitcher, so just a great game to be a part of.”
Sophomore Andie Formby tossed a 1-2-3 first inning and worked around a walk in the second frame for back-to-back scoreless innings. The Orange, California native struck out six in her second complete game of 2016. Aside from the run in the third frame, Formby didn’t allow a Bulldog run to cross home plate until Fresno State took the lead in the eighth frame. Formby dropped to 2-1 on the season with the loss.
Fresno State took a one-run lead in the third inning after stringing together a few base hits. Senior outfielder Bria Kennedy ignited the Bulldog offense with a single to right field and a sacrifice bunt moved her into scoring position. Junior infielder Malia Rivers drove in the go ahead run for Fresno State with a base hit.
Kansas threatened in the fourth after sophomore utility Jessie Roane reached with a walk. Shannon McGinley advanced the runner to third base with a single, but Roane remained 60 feet away from home plate, as the Bulldogs escaped the threat unscathed.
The Jayhawks threatened again in the fifth with back-to-back singles from senior infielder Chaley Brickey and junior infielder Taylor Dodson. With two runners aboard, Fresno State halted the KU rally stranding two more Kansas runners.
In the top of the sixth, Kansas manufactured the equalizing run. Roane recorded her second walk of the evening and a double from Shannon McGinley advanced Roane to third base. Erin McGinley tied the game with a sacrifice fly to left field before Fresno State could retire the side.
Kansas had a chance to take the lead in the top of the six after loading the bases with two outs. However, Fresno State once again escaped the inning without harm, as the ballgame remained tied heading into the bottom half of the frame. Formby tossed two more scoreless innings to send the game into extra innings.
With the international tie breaker rule in effect, Kansas started the eighth inning with a runner on second base. Shannon McGinley recorded a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third base and Erin McGinley scored the go ahead run with a sacrifice fly to left field before the inning concluded.
Fresno State answered in the bottom half of the eighth with two runs to edge the Jayhawks, 3-2. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with a pair of singles before senior catcher Paige Gumz brought home the tying run with a base hit to centerfield. With the bases still loaded, Fresno State scored the winning run with a walk.
Kansas softball concludes the Fresno State Kickoff on Sunday, Feb. 21 against UC Riverside. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m. (CT) against the Highlanders.
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